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Law
3:29 am
Mon October 1, 2012

High Court Preps For Another Headline-Making Term

The U.S. Supreme Court is embarking on a new term beginning Monday that could be as consequential as the last one, with the prospect of major rulings on affirmative action, gay marriage and voting rights.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:30 am

It would be hard to beat last June's cataclysmic, cacophonous end of the Supreme Court term and the decision upholding the Obama health care law. But while all the media focus is on the upcoming elections, the U.S. Supreme Court is about to begin yet another headline-making term, with decisions expected on affirmative action in higher education, same-sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act and a lot of privacy issues.

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Middle East
3:27 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Syrian-American Doctors Head To The Battle Zone

Local Syrian doctors prepare to treat a patient in a field hospital in Aldana, Syria, near the Turkish border. Each day, local and expatriate doctors take big risks to treat the wounded in rebel-held areas.
Deborah Amos NPR

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 8:21 pm

As Syrian war planes bomb towns and villages held by anti-government rebels, a group of Syrian-American doctors is quietly providing medical aid inside Syria.

The Syrian American Medical Society, or SAMS, has a long track record of supporting health care in Syria.

But as Syria's 18-month revolt has grown more lethal, these Syrian-American doctors have sided with the revolution and undertaken risky work delivering medicines and volunteering in field hospitals.

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The Record
12:39 am
Mon October 1, 2012

The CD, At 30, Is Feeling Its Age

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 1:01 pm

Today marks the 30th anniversary of a musical format many of us grew up with: the compact disc. It's been three decades since the first CD went on sale in Japan. The shiny discs came to dominate music industry sales, but their popularity has faded in the digital age they helped unleash. The CD is just the latest musical format to rise and fall in roughly the same 30-year cycle.

Compact discs had been pressed before 1982, but the first CD to officially go on sale was Billy Joel's 52nd Street.

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Books
7:11 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'The Interview'

iStockphoto.com

The judging process for Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is now under way. NPR's Bob Mondello reads an excerpt from one standout story, The Interview, written by Georgia Mierswa. You can read the story in its entirety below, and read more stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Education
5:50 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Online Education Grows Up, And For Now, It's Free

Coursera founders Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller are computer science professors at Stanford University.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:26 pm

Online education isn't particularly new. It has been around in some form since the 1990s, but what is new is the speed and scale in which online learning is growing.

In barely a year, many of the most prestigious research universities in the world – including Stanford, Caltech, Oxford and Princeton — have started to jump onto the online bandwagon.

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Science
5:07 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Tiny Ocean World With A Mighty Important Future

Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life and provide half of the oxygen on the planet. Scientists are working to figure out how climate change may be affecting these important microorganisms.
M. Ormestad Tara Oceans

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

As you take in your next breath of air, you can thank a form of microscopic marine life known as plankton.

They are so small as to be invisible, but taken together, actually dwarf massive creatures like whales. Plankton make up 98 percent of the biomass of ocean life.

"This invisible forest generates half of the oxygen generated on the planet," Chris Bowler, a marine biologist, tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

And, as climate change alters the temperature and acidity of our waters, this mysterious ocean world may be in jeopardy.

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Interviews
4:49 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

The Man Who Jump-Started Presidential Debates

Vice President Richard Nixon listens as Sen. John F. Kennedy talks during their televised presidential race debate. This photo was made from a television screen in New York, Oct. 21, 1960.
AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are prepping for Wednesday's presidential debate. It's a well-worn tradition now, but it wasn't always that way.

The 1960 Kennedy-Nixon face-off wasn't just the first televised presidential debate, it was also the first presidential debate in more than a century.

Four years earlier, a young German emigre named Fred Kahn, a student at the University of Maryland, wanted to see whether the nominees — Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson — might want to engage with students.

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Music
4:42 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Son Jarocho, The Sound Of Veracruz

Las Cafeteras, from Los Angeles, have made their own version of the classic son jarocho song "La Bamba."
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 10:56 pm

Betto Arcos is the host of Global Village, a world music show on KPFK in Los Angeles, and a native of Xalapa, capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. He recently spoke with Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about son jarocho — a style of music played mostly in the south of his home state. He says the music is so vibrant because it comes from the Caribbean side of Mexico and has all the influences of that region: African, indigenous and Spanish.

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Author Interviews
3:51 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

From Tea To T-Shirts: The History Of U.S.-China Trade

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:25 pm

You probably don't give much thought to the phrase "Made in China" when you see it written on the bottom of your coffee mug, or on the tag of your T-shirt, but Americans have traded with China for hundreds of years.

In his new book, When America First Met China, Eric Jay Dolin takes us back to the beginning of the long and complicated trade relationship between the two countries.

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Politics
2:43 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Being 'Better Off' May Not Be Enough To Win Colo.

President Obama speaks during a campaign event at University of Colorado Boulder Sept. 2. He and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will have their first debate at the University of Denver on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:11 pm

Colorado is a good venue for a presidential debate focusing on domestic issues. The first of three highly anticipated debates between President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, will take place Wednesday at the University of Denver.

The state is known for its independent voting streak, and much like the rest of the country, there are sharp political divides about the role of government in the economy. In Colorado, those differences grow from two distinct population centers.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:09 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

On The Road: Reporting On Lead Poisoning In Nigeria

Four-wheel drive is no match for the mud on the road to a gold mine in northern Nigeria.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:20 pm

If you want to witness the health consequences of unsafe gold mining in northwestern Nigeria, the first thing you have to do is get to the mines

There's a crisis of severe lead poisoning near the mines that's killed hundreds of children and made thousands more sick.

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Presidential Race
7:45 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Candidates Push For Colo. To Swing In Their Favor

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Afghanistan
7:45 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Insider Attacks Hinder Transition Out Of Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The big headline out of the U.N. general assembly has been about the speech by the Israeli prime minister who warned of the dangers of a nuclear Iran. Other speakers didn't get nearly as much attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The assembly will hear an address by his Excellency Hamid Karzai, president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

MARTIN: Hamid Karzai's address made little news, despite highlighting efforts to bring the Taliban back into mainstream Afghan society.

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Latin America
6:02 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Venezuela's Young Voters Courted Heavily In Election

Supporters of opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles attend a campaign rally in Valencia, Venezuela, on Thursday. Capriles is running against President Hugo Chavez in the country's Oct. 7 election.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 1:09 pm

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is running for re-election next Sunday. With some polls predicting a tight race, the youth vote in Venezuela is shaping up to be crucial.

That has both the populist president and his challenger working hard to appeal to younger voters who are worried about high crime and jobs — and who can remember no other president than Chavez.

Out on the campaign trail, Angie Rivas passes out fliers and organizes other young people as they canvass this gritty metropolis in a van belting out hip music.

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Afghanistan
5:31 am
Sun September 30, 2012

'Suspected Insider Attack' Reported In Afghanistan

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 10:46 am

Update 10:22 a.m. ET: Not Necessarily An Insider Attack

According to a ISAF statement, the attack that killed a NATO service member and a civilian contractor in Afghanistan on Saturday may not have been an insider attack, as originally reported.

In the statement, the International Security Assistance Force says:

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Presidential Race
7:05 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Ohio County A Historic Predictor Of State's Vote

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney both campaigned in the battleground state of Ohio this week.
AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 8:35 pm

President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both barnstormed Ohio this week, holding rallies just miles apart in the state's northwest. Obama's event was smack in the middle of Wood County, with Romney's just north.

The county may have a population of only 125,000, but it has an outsized importance in presidential elections.

"Since 1960, [Wood County] has predicted every election except for one," says Wood County GOP Chairman Matt Reger. "I think that it is a microcosm of Ohio, which in some parts is a microcosm of the United States."

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Remembrances
7:05 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Sulzberger Ushered 'Times' Into New Era

Former New York Times president and publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, center, died on Saturday. He was 86.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 2:52 pm

The quiet man who modernized The New York Times over more than three decades and stubbornly defended the press against government interference died early Saturday at his home in Long Island.

Former publisher and Times Company chairman Arthur O. Sulzberger Sr. had suffered from Parkinson's disease. He was 86.

Sulzberger's family had owned the Times since 1896, and he was named publisher when his brother-in-law, Orvil Dryfoos, died unexpectedly in 1963.

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Arts & Life
7:05 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'Butterflies'

Nemanja Zivancevic iStockphoto.com

Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction has closed and the judging process is now under way. Susan Stamberg reads an excerpt from one standout story, Butterflies, written by Jennifer Dupree. You can read the full story below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

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Technology
5:31 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

QR Codes For Headstones Keep Dearly Departed Close

Lorie Miller holds the brass QR code for her grandmother's gravestone. Smartphone users who scan it will be directed to an online tribute.
Emma Lee Newsworks

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 7:02 am

Lorie Miller bends over her grandparents' grave in north Philadelphia. She holds a two-inch brass square she's going to attach next to the headstone's names and dates.

Printed onto that square is a QR code — that square digital bar code you can scan with a smartphone. Miller peels off the back of her square to expose the adhesive and pushes it into place. The headstone, which otherwise looks the same as many others around it, has just jumped into the modern age.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

What Winning The 'Catholic Vote' Means Today

Archbishop John J. Myers stands outside Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. The archbishop has urged followers to assess the presidential candidates for their views on abortion and gay marriage.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

Since 1972, every single presidential candidate who has won the popular vote has also won the Catholic vote. But with Catholics making up one in every four voters, pinning down what exactly the Catholic vote is becomes tricky.

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Author Interviews
4:28 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Actor Robby Benson Is 'Not Dead ... Yet!'

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 11:34 am

Robby Benson began his career at the age of 12, on the Broadway stage, and became a teen heartthrob in the '70s, starring in films such as Ode To Billy Joe, Ice Castles and One on One, which he co-wrote. He was also the voice behind the Beast in the 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast.

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Europe
3:28 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

U.K.'s Simmering Class Tensions Roil Over "Plebe" Flap

British Cabinet Minister Andrew Mitchell is accused of denigrating a police officer during an altercation over his bicycle.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images Europe

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 1:21 pm

A political scandal in the United Kingdom involving a bicycle, a police officer and a bad-tempered Cabinet minister has laid bare lingering tensions over the British class system.

The controversy has provided ammunition to those who charge the Conservative Party-led government is out of touch with ordinary Britons.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Arthur O. Sulzberger, Former 'New York Times' Publisher, Dies

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Former New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger has died today. He was 86 years old. Mr. Sulzberger took over the New York Times in 1963 after his brother-in-law and predecessor died unexpectedly of a heart attack. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger was 37, the youngest publisher in the newspaper's history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED TAPE)

ARTHUR OCHS SULZBERGER: As I told my sister Ruth, said do I bade my first executive decision, decided not to throw up.

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Music Interviews
12:03 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

After A Dozen-Year Disappearance, Ben Folds Five Is Back

Ben Folds Five (from left): Robert Sledge, Darren Jessee and Ben Folds.
Autumn de Wilde Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 7:05 pm

In the early '90s, Ben Folds Five achieved underground success by playing the college circuit, selling out small clubs all across the country.

That all changed with the success of its 1997 album Whatever and Ever Amen. Its hit single "Brick" went to No. 6 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks list, only the second single in the band's history to chart.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Former New York Times Publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Dies At 86

New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger in his office in 1973.
Anthony Camerano AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:06 pm

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the longtime former publisher of The New York Times, has died after a long illness, the paper reports:

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Fresh Air Weekend
9:03 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: J.R. Moehringer, Mindy Kaling

Dr. Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) must juggle a variety of responsibilities as an obstetrician-gynecologist in the new comedy The Mindy Project.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 12:38 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Simon Says
7:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Jimmy Hoffa: Still Searching. Still Waiting.

James Hoffa was last seen in the parking lot of a Detroit restaurant in 1975
CT AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:28 pm

Police outside Detroit dug up a spot under a driveway yesterday and took some soil samples. No official findings have been announced.

An unidentified man recently told police he saw a guy bury something there in the summer of 1975 shortly after Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, and after he was supposed to have lunch with Tony Provenzano, a Teamster officer, and Tony Jack Giacalone, a Detroit mobster, at the Machus Red Fox restaurant.

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Middle East
7:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

U.S. Increases Aid To Syria As Violence Rages On

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States will give another $45 million in aid to Syria. That aid will mostly go toward humanitarian assistance, but it will also include communications equipment for the opposition in Syria. The news came at the end of a week of speeches at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where many raised alarms about the bloodshed in Syria. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.

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Author Interviews
7:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

'Instant' Recounts The Magic Of Polaroids

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Decades before people would camp out for days, to get the latest next-big-thing in new technology, there was the magic of pictures you could snap and see instantly - or almost. Edwin Land created a company in his garage - sound familiar? - that would be both a success, and an inspiration, to Steve Jobs and other inventive entrepreneurs of a new era, Polaroid. Its products were considered elegant, original and desirable. The company was miles and dollars above any other, in innovative technology. So why couldn't it last into the 21st century?

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Author Interviews
7:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Online And In The Open: Transparent Novel Writing

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 3:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Writing's often depicted as a private act - scribbling, crossing out, then crumpling two sheets into a fireplace; trial, error and angst - all of which is best kept private. Silvia Hartmann is now writing on a kind of electronic stage - in an open document, a Google doc - so that readers can see her story appear line by line, edit by edit. Silvia Hartmann joins us from the south coast of England. Thanks so much for being with us.

SILVIA HARTMANN: Hi.

SIMON: So what are you trying to do here, write a novel?

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